Skip to main content

tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  December 14, 2016 9:00pm-10:01pm PST

9:00 pm
from a city once as large as houston, texas, old as human civilization, familiar with civilization's capacity for inhumanity as any place on earth. they're the sounds of aleppo, syria, dying cries and pleas for help. the cease-fire that was supposed to give the civilians a safe way out has collapsed. the new one is set to take hold. past experience does not offer much hope it will last and the carnage directed at civilians, that goes on. in the face of it all, america's u.n. ambassador is speaking out against syria, against russia and their allies, iran. >> when one day there is a full accounting of the horrors committed in this the horror aleppo. that day will come sooner or later. you will not be able to say you did not know what was happening, you won't be able to say you did not know what was involved. we know what's happening and we all know you're involved. aleppo will join the ranks of those events in world history
9:01 pm
that defined modern evil. that stain our conscience decades later. are you truly incapable of shame? is there literally nothing that can shame you? is there no act of barbarism against civilians, no execution of a child that gets under your skin that just creeps you out a little bit? her words were powerful, they came against the backdrop of the u.n.'s top humanitarian official accusing countries including the united states of collectively wringing their hands in the face of what he calls the crushing of aleppo. as we'll discuss, this is current administration's responsibility and the next one's as well. we begin, though, with the voices of aleppo and cnn's frederik pleitgen.
9:02 pm
>> . >> and many people are being killed, all the buildings collapsed. many people were killed. many people now are being killed and just kept in the street and their buildings. no one can help them. >> countless stories from within the rebel-held territory in aleppo, syria. it is by all accounts an unmitigated humanitarian disaster. >> you may be thinking this is an old video, but it's not. it's a new one and it's taking place right here, right now, on the day when there was supposed to be an agreement. >> to everyone who can hear me, we are here exposed to a genocide in the besieged city of aleppo. this may be my last video. more than 50,000 civilians who
9:03 pm
rebelled against the dictator, assad, is threatened -- dying under bombing. >> reporter: a 7-year-old living in east aleppo with the help of her mother has been tweeting. her most recent message a cry for help. her mother following up with a message of her own. today from a rooftop, sounds of conflict can still be heard. [speaking foreign language] >> at least we know that -- we were free people. we wanted the freedom. we didn't want anything else. but freedom.
9:04 pm
>> fred pleitgen joins us now. he's reporting from inside aleppo throughout the syrian civil war. joins us from beirut, lebanon. the cease-fire seems to be back on. what happens next and can it actually succeed this time? >> reporter: yeah, you know, that's going to be the big question, anderson. we're going to see that in the next couple of hours because about three hours from now is when buses are supposed to pull out to that rebel enclave that still exists in aleppo and supposed to bring the first people out and bring them to safety to other rebel-held areas in syria. the first people who are supposed to get evacuated are the most vulnerable. the sick, the -- the ones who have been wounded. the question is is that going to happen or is it going to fall apart? we shave to keep in mind, anderson, it's fallen apart once before and also you're dealing with a fragile situation, a lot of people on both sides who are very trigger happy who have been fighting each other for a long period of time. especially on the rebel side,
9:05 pm
there's a lot of people who are very scared to board buses and put their faith in those government soldiers, go through that territory to try to get to safety. . the next hours are going to be absolutely decisive, anderson. >> fred, there have already been reports of syrian government forces and others coming into aleppo and executing civilians, correct? >> reporter: yeah, there certainly have been. the u.n. says they have reports of about 82 civilians who have allegedly been executed. they say they got those reports from people who have been credible in the past who have given them information in the past that was true. they haven't, however, been able to independently verify that. however, there is a grave concern as pro-government forces, not just the syrian military, shiite militias as well as iranians, russians also as they move through that atrocities could be committed and that's why the u.n. and u.s. say it's on the syrian government but especially also on the russians to make sure that no other atrocities are committed as the syrian
9:06 pm
government will most probably take over all of aleppo very soon. >> fred pleitgen, appreciate the reporting. as we said this will soon be the trump administration's crisis. here to talk about it cnn political commentator, daily caller contributor matt lewis. usa today columnist kirsten powers. senior writer for the federalist, mary katherine hamm. and david chalian. david, obviously it is a horror what's happening in syria right now in aleppo. for the donald trump administration, do we know how a president trump is going to handle this? >> we really don't. it's been really vague and it's astonishing when you look at fred's piece there and see what's going on and the cry for help that this wasn't more central in a u.s. presidential campaign, but it wasn't. and his policy has been pretty vague. what we do know is this. he does not -- he, throughout the whole campaign, said assad was really somebody else's problem. he just waned to focus on isis. he believed in creating some safe zones but wanted other people to pay for them and that one moment, you remember in the
9:07 pm
debates because it happened in the debate you were moderating where he disagreed with pence when his own vice presidential nominee said, with russian provocation, we may have to use military force and donald trump shut that down. it's very clear that he really sees this as other people's problem, not his and we don't at all have a clear strategy going forward. >> i mean assad gave an interview on russian state television today he said that essentially he seems to think donald trump is a more natural ally to the syrian regime. >> so much of this is unknowable because he is donald trump but if you look at the picks and rhetoric over the campaign and tried to form some idea where he might head, there's evidence he's a guy that wants to be more friendly about russia, has a more sanguine view of russia. also a guy who's picked all these hardliners on iran who are very hard on -- the trick for him in syria, they're working together. can he drive that wedge by working with russia in a closer manner? i have no idea if that is the strategy or if he's thinking
9:08 pm
that far but that's what's -- >> right, a victory for assad in syria is a big victory for iran so it's contradictory. >> i think what we do know about him is that he has a sort of affection for strong men, so he talks about in the middle east, mubarak, for example, i think he analogizes to syria in a sense if you overthrow assad, you don't know what's going to happen and could create a power vacuum and terrorists could take over. all authoritarians are not created equal. a mubarak is very different than an assad who's slaughtering his people and there's a genocide going on. >> and his father slaughtered people before him. >> it is a very different situation. the other thing for people hoping maybe he could potentially rethink the russia stuff is if you look at condoleezza rice, one of the people who made the recommendation for his current secretary of state nomination, and other sort of, you know, mainstream thinkers in the republican party who really are not on board with his view of russia and are saying, look,
9:09 pm
russia is not trying to fight isis. they're just trying to protect their interests in syria. >> yeah, one of the things that he has said that donald trump has said about syria, he said our current strategy of nation building, regime change is a proven absolute failure. it's one thing, though, when somebody is running for president, it's another thing when you are actually the president and the pictures are on the evening news and people are talking about it and eye hear the cries for help. we've seen it time and time again, whether somalia, rwanda, sarajevo. >> this becomes a vicious cycle because what happens is we see horrific images and now with technology images imly in our homes. >> more than ever before. >> tweets from victims. then the american public, i think rightly out of moral indignation, begins to clamber for us to be involved then we get involved. and then it goes bad then people, the same people, the same public that was clambering for involvement then say why are we measuring around over there? that's not our business.
9:10 pm
>> somalia, humanitarian intervention, black hawk down >> and you could look at george w. bush as an example of the intervention gone wrong and barack obama and the red line and the failure to intervene. possibly in this, the other end of it. i think donald trump, it's time for a coherent strategy and tal to the american public about the new world we live in where the media -- >> you know, president-elect trump continues to say, look, america first, jobs, jobs, jobs. it is very easy to get sucked into foreign issues. every president off comes in saying, look, i'm not interested -- i'm focusing on america, you know, infrastructure, nation-building at home. but then world events over take presidents, we've seen it time and again. >> i do think this is where matt is right, there's clambe ar but not appetite for getting involved. >> for any endurance. >> right. >> when we actually get involved and something is going wrong.
9:11 pm
>> the world has been watching this for years and there hasn't -- >> a larger political landscape i think might be more forgiving for donald trump even though there is this huge moral problem. but many people saying, yes, let's focus on jobs at home and, no, it went badly when we've done this in the past. >> and he was clear throughout the campaign that this getting drawn into this kind of event it did not interest him at all. i thought he made that sort of a rallying cry. and i think his supporters give him that breathing space on this. despite the horrific images. >> i should point out the quote i read was not on syria in particular from donald trump. it was on just sort of nation-building as an idea. i think i said it was about syria. i was talking just in more general. but yet at a certain point, the policy, i mean, this is a policy which has not been made clear by president obama which has bedeviled him. he did an interview with fareed saying, you know, he essentially missed a lot of this and that it
9:12 pm
haunts him to this day. does a president trump have to say, look, we aren't getting involved or does he just let it kind of percolate along? >> he's surrounded by people who are going to want him to do something. a lot of the republican thinkers were the ones saying let's arm the rebels. he met with tulsi gabbard, democratic member of congress from hawaii, who has been outspoken on this issue as well and i think, you knows, i think that it's possible that he will get pressure from a mike pence or from other people around him to do something and it's also different when it's on your watch. it's one thing if you're sitting here talking in a campaign, another thing if you are watching a genocide unfold and you're not doing anything. >> there's a lot more to talk about including the continuing role of donald trump's grown sons are taking in government business even though they're supposed to be the ones running the president-elect's business empire instead. a prime example of that tonight. when will that happen? when will they take over? we'll talk about it next. also later for the first time the dnc hacking story, all of it, beat by beat, how hillary
9:13 pm
clinton's campaign manager ended up unknowingly giving russian-connected cyber thieves the keys to the kingdom. a fascinating inside look. when you have a cold, you just want powerful relief.
9:14 pm
9:15 pm
only new alka-seltzer plus free of artificial dyes and preservatives liquid gels delivers the powerful cold symptom relief you need without the unnecessary additives you don't. store manager: clean up, aisle 4. alka-seltzer plus liquid gels. new questions about the role donald trump's grown children play in the administration and will be playing. fueled today by a meeting today at trump tower. that's not all. and cnn's sara murray joins us with the latest. a major meeting with tech executives. tim cook from apple, jeff bezo and oabezos and others from amazon, google, elsewhere. donald trump's grown children were in on this meeting. explain what was going on. >> reporter: that's right. this was an important meeting
9:16 pm
for donald trump to sort of send the signal he was will to take the opinions of people he criticized in past and been critical of him. no question donald trump's relationship with silicon valley wasn't exactly stellar throughout the campaign. i'm told this was actually a pretty positive meeting. a opportunity for the tech executives to make a case for priorities they're interested in. for example, high-skilled visas and also more spending on a digital infrastructure. and donald trump made it clear in the meeting and we saw this from what we said in front of reporters that he wants to try to help them when he is president. so we'll see if this sort of love fest continues beyond the confines. but it is interesting as you point out that, it wasn't just donald trump but his senior advisors and his tech executives in the meeting. it was also donald trump's grown children, ivanka trump, eric trump, don jr. all present for what could be a very important meeting for trump. >> you know, the two grown men. donald trump's sons, eric and don jr., are supposed to be
9:17 pm
actually running his company when he's president. but right now it would seem they are deeply involved in the transition. and there's new information also tonight about what role ivanka trump is going to have in her father's administration. >> reporter: that's right. there are lots of questions about whether there will ever be a clear bright line between how the kids interact with the business and how they interact with the trump white house. for instance, while we're expecting eric and donald jr. to take over the day to day operations of the trump organization, not only were they in this meeting but don jr. helped interview candidates for interior secretary. eric trump sat in on a meeting with mitt romney when they were considering him for a secretary of state. and it does look like perhaps ivanka trump will have the clearest divide. seems like she slykely to move over to washington and also to have a more formalized role within the white house. we're being told by sources that what used to be the first lady's office will become the first family office. this will be an opportunity for ivanka trump to have an
9:18 pm
office in the east wing and sort of act as a washington hostess but also to help advise her father on policies we may think of she could bring a more liberal perspective to. for instance, family leave, for instance, climate change. now, all of this is still up in the air until we see donald trump announce how he plans to divvy up his white house from his business. that was supposed to happen tomorrow, now they punted it to january. so not only are people on the hill waiting to hear this, there are plenty of ethics experts and lawyers waiting to see how and if donald trump can draw a clear divide between his business opportunities and his white house. >> sara murray, thanks very much. digging deeper into the question how the incoming administration plans to disentangle the family from federal business if they do. specifically concerning donald jr., and the new -- >> reporter: the "washington post" reports congressman ryan zinke hit it off with don trump jr. both are enthusiastic hunters.
9:19 pm
before meeting in person with the elder trump. and politico says trump's oldest son sat in on meetings and called perspective nominees. so much, critics say, for the clean break between the trump administration and the trump children. back in july don jr. even joked he might be the head of interior. >> i don't no if i'd be the head of it or just informing them. rest assured for all the hunters and shooters out there, they know i had his ear. >> reporter: zinke's montana roots may have worked in his favor for don jr. whose passion for hunting and conservation heavily favored candidates from western states. don jr. is a member of the mi montana based boone and crockett club, hunting and wildlife conservation organization. the club's mission, promote the conservation of big game and its habitat. don jr.'s love of hunting helped build relationships with other western lawmakers like republican senator steve dans of montana. he joined don jr. and his brother, eric, on hunting trips
9:20 pm
and conveyed to the oldest son a westerner for interior would be best to protect the land and their way of life. don jr. calls himself a big conservationist saying hunters give back by paying fees that go toward conservation efforts. >> we try to be good stewards of that to make sure those habit habitats, animals are great enjoyment we experience in the outdoors. therefore, our kids, your kids and their kids behind them. >> reporter: but his love of big game hunting has also stirred controversy. those photos in 2013 showed them proudly posing in a 2012 zimbabwe hunt. a leopard and a water buffalo. in another photo, the tail of an elephant. in one hand and a large knife in the other. in this photo a massive crocodile hangs from a tree. but he responds on twitter
9:21 pm
saying villagers were grateful for the meat. >> hunting is one of those things some people will understand and some won't. >> reporter: randi kaye, cnn new york. >> back now with the panel. also something extra, namely trump supporter jeffrey lord and kayleigh mcenany as well as democrats paul begala and angela rye. a lot to discuss. first of all, have we ever seen the grown children of a president-elect sitting in on meetings like this who are also going to be running a corporation, in family business, also involved in the picking of cabinet secretaries? >> no. absolutely not. that's unprecedented. let me say, anderson, i don't begrudge donald trump wants to incorporate his family. >> they're his top advisers. >> he's built an entire brand, the family is the brand, the name is the brand, the o, he groomed them to take over. i don't begrudge him. it is the fact there's no delineation right now. if, indeed, eric trump and don jr. are going to run the
9:22 pm
business, they clearly should not be part of building and forming the government. that, to me -- there's no problem in taking counsel from your family. the problem is they haven't set up and set forth what are the guidelines here to make sure that the conflict of interest stay away. >> do you agree with it? >> look, i wish they would be clearer about it and perhaps clearer about it faster but i do think that this is sort of a bit of a new creature and we're going to see how it plays out here if ivanka is the trump kid, business trump kid, i don't have a problem with that, a case by case basis. i think it's best practice is to make clear how you're going to do this and make clear how you're going to do it quickly. i'm not sure we're going to get that as we saw -- >> does it make sense to you, kirsten, they're sitting around with the tech executives today. >> the example i keep using, let's use chelsea clinton, going
9:23 pm
back to running the clinton foundation. i think the republicans would see the problem with that. >> if it was a chelsea clinton in a president-elect hillary clinton -- >> meeting with the same people, having the same kinds of meetings and officially work on a transition, going back and running the foundation. they would be correct in criticizing that. i think that would be highly problemat problematic. i think on the ivanka being the de facto first lady maybe i don't have a problem with that. woodrow wilson did that after his wife passed away, his daughter stepped in. there's nothing wrong with that if melania doesn't want to be the first lady, ivanka wants to step into that role, i don't understand what the objection to it is honestly. >> i think that what he should do is liquidate assets and. put in a blind trust. if you're rooting for donald trump's success, you think he should do that. this isn't something people who hate donald trump say, this is something people rooting for trump say because this is the most obvious way you take him down. maybe it's two, three years down the road when he's no longer
9:24 pm
quite as popular. if you wanted an impeachment, the conflict of interest, this is waiting, this is waiting to be a scandal. >> i agree it can be a distraction. i'm sure the press conference they canceled the other day, they need to have exactly right when they come forward with this. >> it's a complex thing to figure out. >> very, very. >> in terms of the family, i went back and look, every president, not every president, lot of presidents from john adams who appointed, had george washington appoint his son, john quincy, his minister, all the way up to bill and hillary clinton, presidential family members, sons, nephews, fdr took his sons to the atlantic charter meeting with winston churchill as advisers. this has been going on a very, very long time and there's not anything unusual about it. >> any president who has children, adults this accomplished, should listen to it. i don't know them personally. i've seen them on tv.
9:25 pm
they're very impressive people. the problem is the business side. that's exactly right. there's a very clear ethical imperative. liquidate assets and put them into treasury bills, the safest thing, no conflict of interest. he's trying to pretend there's some separation because the kids are going to run the business. he could have an ownership interest. it's impossible conflicts, the easiest one, most obvious one is the hotel. he just fixed up his hotel in washington. the trump international hotel. he has a 60-year lease with the federal government which he runs which he will in a few weeks. the lease, itself, says, no elected official of the government of the united states can be party to this lease. if he has to get out of that deal, will he? i don't know. he'll be in violation of the lease. here's the problem. who's going to enforce it? the head of the general service administration who's supposed to enforce that lease is going to
9:26 pm
be appoieppointed by donald tru. the conflicts are innumerable and will tie him in knots. >> the other thing we continue to talk past is the fact it may not -- the other issue may be that they're actually sitting in on meetings. if they continue to sit in on meetings after he's sworn in, that's also a problem. that violate potentially anti-nepotism laws. there's a reason for those. it says any public official, any public official applies to the president of the united states, if any of them are paid or are performing work in which they should be paid by the federal government, that is a huge problem, it's not a conflict of interest, not just optics. >> jared kushner said if i was given a role, any role, we know going back to the '90s with clinton that hillary clinton took a role in the white house, it was litigated. there was litigation over it. the courts said that the nepotism laws do not apply to certain white house staffing positions. so that -- she was a policy
9:27 pm
person as a first lady. it was litigated and the circuit court said, no, this does not apply to white house positions. look, paul, i think you're right about the lease, i absolutely think you're about the lease. the president is exempt from conflict of interest, paul. donald trump is exactly correct when he says i don't even have to give up my business if i don't want -- he is doing that -- >> the law but -- >> he wants to optically be in a position where he's ethical sound. >> can paul respond, then we got to go. >> actually 801 years ago that we had the magna carta. i think jeffrey covered that story. that asserts that no king is above the law, nor is he. there is certainly, as you point out, leases that he will be in violation of, but the emoluments clause. the founders, exactly this situation they were worried about. foreign powers -- >> the emoluments clause, you can't accept gifts from foreign leaders. >> let's take a break.
9:28 pm
kayleigh raised an interested point about the first son-in-law, jared kushner. we're getting new information right now actually on the role jared kushner may be playing. his new role in the administration. we'll have breaking news on that next. hi, we're the hulford quads. (laughter) we're in 8th grade. technology is the only thing that really entertains us. i'm gonna use this picture on sketchbook, and i'm going to draw mustaches on you all. using the pen instead of fingers, it just feels more comfortable for me. be like, boop! it's gone. i like that only i can get into it and that it recognizes my fingerprint. our old tablet couldn't do that. it kind of makes you feel like you're your own person, which is a rare opportunity in my family. (laughter) we'vand and here. the answer is 8. bottom line, life is hard. that's why godaddy created website builder... it makes creating a website...easy. build an awesome mobile-friendly, website...
9:29 pm
and it's free to get started. plus with the money you save, you can hire a math tutor. get your free trial of godaddy website builder now! at
9:30 pm
generosity is its oyou can handle being a mom for half an hour. i'm in all the way. is that understood? i don't know what she's up to, but it's not good. can't the world be my noodles and butter? get your mind out of the gutter. mornings are for coffee and contemplation. that was a really profound observation. you got a mean case of the detox blues. don't start a war you know you're going to lose. finally you can now find all of netflix in the same place as all your other entertainment. on xfinity x1.
9:31 pm
there's more breaking news in the role president trump's grown children will be playing in the administration. cnn's phil mattingly has the latest. joins us now. what are you learning? >> reporter: no secret jared curb dmkushner is the constant side throughout his campaign and the president-elect trying to figure out a way to get jared kushner down to washington with im. that's going to happen. we know that. what sources are telling us right now is jared kushner will have a place in the west wing. he's likely to also have an office in the west wing as well. they have not figured out a specific title, but what this raises, potential issues, you guys actually were just discussing on anti-nepotism laws, on what jared kushner would actually do with his own holdings. legal teams have been working on how to figure that out and starting to get closer to clearing a pathway forward. it's worth pointing out here, no question about it, jared kushner
9:32 pm
is one of the closest and most important advisers to the president-elect. he'll have an important role in the white house. the question of what specifically that role will be still to be determined but they are getting closer to that point. what this does raise, though, is something we've all been talking about for the last couple weeks and something i've heard from trump advisers over the last week or so. more concerns about conflicts of interest. this is an area that they fear could plague the first couple months of the administration. maybe even longer than that. this is another instance where those types of issues will come up. that said, legal team is working on this and they feel like they're getting closer to a resolution. anderson? >> phil mattingly, thanks very much for breaking news. appreciate that. back with the panel. to the point others made earlier, it is the first question that may be raised, you know, once donald trump is president, about any selection that's made or policy that's made. people are going to start to look at, wait a minute, how does this influence trump businesses? i mean, does seem to me this is not going to go away. >> the thing they need to be careful of is the distraction aspect of it. he's got a lot of things on his
9:33 pm
agenda he wants to accomplish so they do need to resolve this in some fashion. as to jared kushner, i've already written about this for the american spectator. i think he would be absolutely perfect. he should be my suggestion as the deputy chief of staff for the white house. this is -- this is the person who plays the mike -- you have a chief of staff who's the washington insider, the ideology guy who's bannon, and the son figure, jared kushner, who can translate the, you know, president in terms of knowing him as a family member, or almost a family member, to the rest of the white house staff. >> but even things like, i mean, the hotel that donald trump has now opened here in washington, it's run by, what, it's a lease -- they're leasing it. the interior department actually owns -- oversees the land. >> national parkland and, therefore, the national park service falls under the department of interior. >> so don jr. is running the trump organization, that hotel,
9:34 pm
had a hand in who the interior secretary is and his department is running or oversees the land that the hotel's on. >> i'm willing to listen to how they want to structure this, i wish they would say it quickly and be clear about it. and what's going to be interesting, too, you have these two ceos who have been named as possible cabinet members, and they're going to do the best practices stuff, right? like gutierrez when he went from kelloggs to the bush administration, immediately tenders his resignation to the board the day he was named. these guys are going to go through an open process i would imagine because they don't have the celebrity bubble that trump has that keeps him invincible. the contrast is going to be interesting which might make you think trump will do something different. it didn't matter. so he may be very different. >> for his part has indicated he's going to do aefeverything right, put all his assets in a blind trust, will not take out a government paycheck so i don't run afoul of anti-nepotism laws.
9:35 pm
he is doing everything right. donald trump likewise, every indication we have so far, we have to give him time, it's only been 30 days, has indicated he's doing everything right. ivanka trump looks like she's coming to d.c., having no role in the business. the boys will have a role in the business. >> ivanka trump has her own business, so i don't know the answer to this. i don't know if they know the answer to this yet, does she now stop those businesses or continue to, you know, sell a dress that she's wearing in her white house office in her role as first lady, that dress is available online at her website? i don't know. >> and i mentioned -- >> maybe that's okay. >> the thing that bothers me about this is because they're in the private sector in a business, this is becoming a big deal. but how many lawyers do we have at congress, how many lawyers have we had in the obama administration that still have law firms back home with their name on there? i mean, there are conflicts of interest galore. >> name one, name a lawyer you know who had their name still on their law practice while they served in the obama administration. >> i'll look it up for you.
9:36 pm
>> i promise you if they did, they run afoul of the law, i think the one thing we have to be careful of especially my friend kalely who went to law school and knows this. it's not just violation of the letter of the law. it's violation of the spirit of the law. for jared kushner to serve in any capacity in the white house. >> were you upset -- >> where the -- that's totally different, kayleigh. the first lady -- no, this -- >> she's a relative of the president. >> it specifically says -- >> she has no business interests. >> no -- >> hillary clinton helped the -- >> one at a time. one at a time. >> my point is simple. if he is in the white house working for the white house and he is his son-in-law, which he is, unless he divorces ivanka, it runs afoul of the anti-nepotism law. >> not true. let me read you a quick sentence, this is from the d.c. circuit judge. with regard to hillary when on the hillary task force. "we doubt congress intended to include the white house or executive office of the
9:37 pm
president in the anti-nepotism -- >> paul, okay, let's not go down to the weeds in this one particular issue. paul? >> it's important. >> i, too, have a law degree but i recovered. we should use clear language. you used a phrase, kayleigh, blind trust, which we throw around a lot. a trust is only blind if the beneficiary has no idea of its contents. that's why we call it blind. there's lots of trusts that are not blind but if you say mr. kushner, i think president-elect trump, is required to have by ethics, by honesty, by morality, by the public interest to have a blind trust, that means they must liquidate. i know that -- >> said he would. >> good for him. that's the standard i'm looking for. then you read treasury -- hank paulson did this, he had a half a billion dollar stake in goldman sachs. he was president bush's treasury secretary. there's a provision, by the way, which is extraordinarily generous task breaks if you have to do that for public service. some liberals have complained about that the. i think it's great. they will get huge tax break s giant, beautiful, extraordinary,
9:38 pm
tax breaks, classiest tax breaks in the world but they have to liquidate. >> that's unfair of you to ask donald trump to do that. he would be the -- he would be depriving his children of their livelihood. >> his children are just find. >> you're discouraging people inside the sector from running for office. >> sean spicer of the rn kprrks basically said as long as the trump team is transparent, in this case about donald jr.'s involvement, it's okay, e he went on to say conflicts of interest arise when people are sneaky. >> like when they don't release their tax returns for example. you keep bringing up, kayleigh, hillary clinton, but isn't the analogy bobby kennedy? i mean, bobby kennedy is the reason the nepotism law exists. hold on. that is the reason. so it is to prevent you from hiring family members. it's really not the same as the first lady. so how is jared kushner different than bobby kennedy? >> very different. the court actually -- the court actually dealt with that very question, said you couldn't appoint someone as a.g., let's say, why we created the law in the first place.
9:39 pm
you can, however, appoint people to be in the white house because they are not an executive agency, therefore, not subject to the law. >> all right. we're going to take another quick break. coming up the chilling backstory of how the democratic national committee got hacked. this is vareally fascinating detail. we're going to hear from "the new york times" reporter whose investigation found cyber espionage entwined with presidential politics and just a flat-out bungling by an awful lot of folks a the dnc and elsewhere. we're only just now beginning to understand it. we'll talk to him about all the details ahead. e you checking your credit score? you don't want to drive old blue forever, do you? [brakes squeak] credit karma, huh? yep, it's free. credit karma. give yourself some credit.
9:40 pm
9:41 pm
9:42 pm
it started with a phone call more than a year ago, an fbi agent called the dnc to let them know their computer system was compromised by hackers linked to the russian government. a contractor in tech support thought it might have been a prank call. the contractor wasn't even sure it actually was an fbi agent talking to him on the phone. that was it. that was how it all began. the beginning of what was and became an unprecedented saga involving cyber espionage, stoling information and presidential politics. a saga that is still unfolding to this day. the noo"the new york times" pub an extraordinary piece, on the front page today, explaining how the phone call in december 2015 was the first missed opportunity to stop the russian intrusion, one that allowed hackers to roam around the dnc computer network for almost seven months but the first in a series of missteps
9:43 pm
and misunderstandings, more than a year, that includes decades of e-mails from hillary clinton's campaign chairman john podesta's personal e-mail being hacked because of a phishing scam and typo. the article is a remarkable read in which for the first time key players targeted in the hack agreed to tell their stories. joining me, "the new york times" investigative reporter eric lipton. as i said, i've read this just it boggles the mind, the fact that first of all, and i still can't believe this, an fbi agent called up the dnc basically gets forwarded to tech support, not even an employee, but like a contractor, and the contractor is talking to this fbi agent, but isn't convinced that person's an actual fbi agent. >> it's extraordinary, and we realize that individual decisions have real consequences and mistakes have real consequences and history can change because of the tech guy that gets the call that comes into the switchboard, gets passed to the help desk, goes to the tech guy, he doesn't believe it's an fbi agent.
9:44 pm
the fbi agent calls back, back, back, leaves voicemail -- >> the guy doesn't call back because he said there's nothing new to tell the guy. >> the dnc did not have sophisticated monitoring software to look for intrusions and the guy did some checking but didn't see anything. because he didn't see anything, he didn't return the calls from the fbi agent. this went on for months. months. >> they didn't go up the chain, it seems like, at the dnc. just basically stayed -- i don't understand why the fbi, i mean, as eyou point out in the articl, the dnc office is close to the fbi. >> only explanation is the fbi gets lots of reports of potential intrusions and it's charged with notifying businesses and other individuals and it has so many of these notifications that it just makes the call and attempts to tell people, if they don't respond, that's the end of it. in this case they should have known, the dnc, presidential election, previous presidential elections, you know, obama and mccain were subject to cyber attacks.
9:45 pm
debbie wasserman-schultz when i spoke to her was furious when she learned, she wasn't fully aware when i spoke to her that this has gone back to december 2015. donna brazile was also furious they questioned why didn't the fbi escalate this. >> and john podesta gets a, at one point, i guess, months later, a phishs e-mail basically telling him to change his security password allegedly from google, wasn't real. somebody on his team who also received that e-mail sent it to, like, their i.t. guy, the i.t. guy knew it was not a real thing that they should not -- it was not a legitimate e-mail, but he sends back a note saying, it is legitimate. but he meant to write it's illegitimate. but he made a mistake. >> again -- >> and so they changed the password and that's how the -- >> it's incredible. >> the 60 ,000 e-mails -- >> the consequences of what seems like a small error and 60,000 e-mails a decade worth of john podesta's e-mails. the hillary clinton speeches. the all kinds of snide remarks from individuals that then became public criticizing her in public and became two months'
9:46 pm
worth of stories undermining her effort to get her message out. enormous consequences but the thing that's most incredible is it's not the gossipy content but devised by the russians to try to influence not necessarily the outcome of the election but disrupt the election process, to undermine the confidence in american democracy. the fact this was a russian plot is pretty incredible. >> your reporting, perhaps two different groups of russians, most likely government actors or ultimately government actors, may not even have known the other group was -- because some of the e-mails and stuff they were getting was duplicates. >> that's right. the company that was hired ultimately by the dnc to examine this, crowdstrike, found that, it concluded they most likely were not aware that they both ran the system at the same time. they were actually going back to the same files and collecting them, both players. so there were two different, you know, subsidiaries of russia intelligence services that were active in the dnc's computers. >> so, i mean, on the one hand, you can say this was a very
9:47 pm
high-tech, sort of espionage effort, but a lot of it did just rely on human error and mistakes. i mean, it was sort of general phishing expedition. >> i think ultimately if the russians really wanted to get into the dnc system and persistently tried, you know, unless they had really high-level monitoring they most likely would have gotten in. compare it, for example, hillary clinton hired a private cyber security firm to protect her, you know, the e-mails of the clinton campaign and in fact, there's no evidence so far, at least, that they did successfully hack into her campaign. john podesta's e-mails were her g-mail account but without two-step verification. a single thing anybody can learn out of this, always have two-step verification on your e-mail. that's why john podesta's 60,000 e-mails, anyone can read them, because he didn't have two-step. >> he also kept 60,000 e-mails. i mean, e-mails going back ten years, he never deleted them. >> one of the things the guy who made the mistake in telling him that this was legitimate, said
9:48 pm
to me, which is not in the story, the fact they were repeatedly trying to convince podesta to get off of the g-mail, it was a security threat. how could he not have learned what hillary went through that he should get off his private e-mail? >> at one point, he had written a paper on cyber security. >> yes, on cyber issues. >> eric lipton, just, again, it's fascinating reporting. "the new york times" website. appreciate what you've done. it's incredible read, incredible read. just ahead, gone but not forgotten. we're going to remember the 20 first graders and 6 adults gunned down inside sandy hook elemee elementary school. we'll be right back. [ sneezes ]
9:49 pm
i have a big meeting when we land, but i'm so stuffed up, i can't rest. nyquil cold and flu liquid gels don't unstuff your nose.
9:50 pm
they don't? alka-seltzer plus night liquid gels fights your worst cold symptoms. plus, unstuffs your nose. oh, what a relief it is. yeah, chevy was great in that. who played the wife? beverly d'angelo! juliette lewis costarred as the daughter. oh, i think it was um... chris columbus was the director... it's called claymation... narwhals really exist... actually guys, it was the ghost of christmas past... never stick your tongue on a frozen flag pole... yukon cornelius... "die hard" is considered a christmas movie! that's the unlimited effect. stream your entertainment with unlimited data when you switch to at&t and have directv. four years ago today a gunman opened fire inside sandy hook elementary school killing 20 first graders and six adults. for their families, december 14th, 2012, is the day their world shattered. in the days that followed, we saw extraordinary courage and bravery where it would seem
9:51 pm
impossible. i talked to lynn and chris mcdonnell four days after their daughter grace, just 7 years old, died. she was a talented artist who left behind a brother jack. as fresh as their loss was, they wanted to share some of their memories of grace. >> what do you want people to know about grace? >> well, grace had such a great spirit. she was a kind and gentle soul, and she was just the light and love of our family. she was just truly a special, special little girl that we loved. and she loved her brother so much. and she loved her school, sandy hook. in fact, this week i was telling somebody, she had a stomachache one day. i said to her, why don't you stay home with mom. she said, no way, i have too much fun there, and i don't want to miss anything. she would skip to get on the bus. it wasn't even a -- you know, every morning it was the backpack was packed the night
9:52 pm
before and ready to get on the bus in the morning and head off to school. we'd blow kisses every morning to each other. i remember that morning, putting her on the bus. she had a habit of blowing kisses, but then she would give me a liver lip like, mmmm. i knew she was so happy to go off and get there. i would like to say that she was at a place that she loved, and so we take comfort in that, that we know she was in a place that she really loved. >> and with friends. >> and with friends. >> people that loved her. that's, i think, the whole community, the school, the teachers. they're all raising your child. and it's -- it's a special place. >> it is. and i take comfort that she was with all her friends. i just envision all of them holding hands. and they're all together up there. >> reporter: i was talking to you before we began. one of the things you were saying is you don't want hate or anger in your heart. >> no.
9:53 pm
i said that to jack, that it's okay to be angry because, sure, we have anger and we're upset, and we don't know why. but i told jack that he could never live with hate. grace didn't have an ounce of hate in her. so we have to live through grace and realize that hate is not -- not how our family is and not -- certainly not how grace is. >> reporter: it's a hard thing, though, isn't it, to not feel that? >> we're going to go on, and we're going to use her positive energy to help guide us forward. >> one of gracie's favorite things to paint or draw was a peace sign. the morning after i was in the bathroom, and i used to dry her hair next to the window, and the window would fog up and she would write notes in the window to me. on saturday morning i was standing at that window in the bathroom, and it had fogged up, and i looked and there was her peace sign in the window. i was like, that's a sign from my grace.
9:54 pm
and the paint above it said grace/mom and she drew a heart. so she was all about peace and gentleness and kindness. >> those are very early days in the grieving process. the past four years have frankly been unimaginable for the families, the pain never goes away. on top of that, the sandy hook families have become targets of hoaxsters who claim the shootings never happened. last week a woman in florida was charged with making death threats against the father of noah pozner. i talked to len pozner about it. >> as far as sandy hook, we've been calling them hoaxsters since pretty much the beginning, because they -- first of all, they don't think anything bad ever happens. they don't think anyone ever gets hurt. they think that, whenever they see something on the web or on
9:55 pm
television, that is a crime or a mass casualty event, it has to be a hoax. then, if debunking evidence comes out that shows that they made mistakes, um, like researchers, normal researchers, they won't correct their mistakes, and oftentimes they start to fabricate their evidence or fudge their evidence or photo shop their evidence. so really they're contributing to the hoax by falsifying the information that they are propagating. so their hoaxsters by calling everything a hoax, and then everything that they do after the fact is sort of distributing false information to people. >> len's son noah and grace mcconnell and the 18 other children killed at sandy hook would be fifth graders today. the six adults who died would have touched the lives of dozens more children by now. 26 futures were stolen four years ago today.
9:56 pm
but the lives they lived will not be forgotten. we will remember them. charlotte bacon. danielle barden, rachel daniel barden. rachel d'avino. olivia engel. josephine gay. ana marquez-green. dylan hockley. dawn hochsprung. madeline hsu. catherine hubbard. chase kowalski. jesse lewis. james mattioli. grace mcdonnell. anne marie murphy. emilie parker, jack pinto. noah pozner. caroline previdi. jessica rekos. avielle richman.
9:57 pm
lauren rousseau mary sherlach. victoria soto. benjamin wheeler. and alison wyatt. we will remember them. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ ♪ how else do you think he gets around so fast? take the reins this holiday and get the mercedes-benz you've always wanted during the winter event. now lease the 2017 gla250 for $329 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. here you go.picking up for kyle. you wouldn't put up with part of a pizza. um. something wrong?
9:58 pm
so when it comes to pain relievers, why put up with just part of a day? you want the whole thing? yes, yes! live whole. not part. aleve.
9:59 pm
10:00 pm
topping this hour, breaking news on the trump transition, closer scrutiny on donald trump's two grown sons, the ones who were supposed to take over the running of his business and leave the running of the government to their father. let's go to cnn's phil mattingly at trump tower. what are you learning tonight, phil? >> there has been a lot of talk about potential conflicts of interest but also the role of the family members in the president-elect's new administration. particularly jared kushner, his son-in-law, one of his closest advisers, a constant throughout the campaign by his side. what role would he play. we're learning from sources is he will have a specific role in the west wing and he's likely to have an office in the west wing. why does this matter? there are a lot of legal issues